The Hollar Restaurant

The Hollar Resturant logo

Travel a bit outside of Santa Fe to visit the Hollar Restaurant in Madrid!

Founded by executive chef, Josh Novak in November of 2008, the Hollar specializes in fusing southern cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. The result is comfort food done right!


A native of Florida, chef Novak attended Auburn University and is a graduate of the culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu, managing to bring a taste of the south with him to Madrid, New Mexico, he has surprised both locals and tourists alike with a unique menu featuring a myriad of delicious flavor combinations. (The Hollar Restaurant)

Hours: Open at 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Daily
Phone: (505) 471-4821
Website: (Note: The website url doesn’t appear to work currently.)

Follow restaurant on Facebook for up-to-date news, specials, etc.

The Hollar Restaurant is located at 2849 State Highway 14 N., Madrid, NM. Find it on the map below.

The Gorge Bar & Grill

The Gorge Bar & Grill

Here at the Gorge, we are providing a clean, fresh and modern sense of casual dining without sacrificing quality of service and the quality of our food and drinks. […]  We are dedicated to New Mexico grown foods that represent the best this great state has to offer. Everything we make is made from scratch to insure the best ingredients in all our dishes and libations. With a great selection of craft beers, world wine and premium tequila…it’s all about what you like. Executive Chef Jaime Nieves-Flores will cater to any special request or dietary restrictions that he can possibly do. (About The Gorge Bar & Grill)

Stop by The Gorge Bar & Grill for a drink or to enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner. Serving burgers, fresh oysters, salads, tacos,  nachos, and more…Take a look at the menu to see what delicious food is on offer.

Visit The Gorge Bar & Grill

Location: Historic Taos Plaza, 103 East Plaza, Taos, NM 87571.
Phone: 575.758.8866
Hours: Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sun: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Happy Hour:  Monday-Friday 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm and again from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Find it on the map below:

The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe

Chocolate gift box from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Chocolate gift box from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

A good friend helped me celebrate my birthday with the gustatory equivalent of the fabled fountain of youth. Chocolate.


And not just any chocolate, but a truly decadent assortment of epicurean dark chocolates from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe. All semblance of restraint abandons me when confronted with good chocolate, and this most recent experience was no exception. I gorged!

And just to tease/tempt you, I’m going to share a few of my favorites. Digitally. Sorry…

Sybaritic Sampling from The Chocolate Smith

I love dark chocolate. Even before I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance (20+ years ago) and casein intolerance (5+ years ago), I gravitated toward chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao. The following treats betray my bias, so I figured I’d better get that out in the open right from the get-go.

Chocolate covered with cacao nibs from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Cacao nib covered chocolate from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

I’m a sucker for textures, so this beauty snared me as I opened the lid. Crushed cacao nibs inside dark chocolate, sprinkled with more crushed cacao nibs. Did I mention cacao nibs?

If you love chocolate, real chocolate (not the waxy sugarbombs we too often call chocolate) then this thin-but-lumpy decadence is for you. It’s crunchy and almost nutty in the way that toasted cacao nibs are. It’ll leave “hoolies” in your teeth, but it’s totally worth the mockery from your loved ones. Trust me.

Cherry cluster from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Cherry cluster from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Mingling texture with sweet-and-sour, I turned to this chewy cherry cluster. Vaguely tart dried cherries punch up the sharpness of the dark chocolate for a dazzling taste. Make no mistake, this chocolate is plenty sweet, but the familiar chocolate flavors become unfamiliar given the cherry nuances. This delicacy would make an extraordinary breakfast starter with a shot of espresso!

Chocolate swirl from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Chocolate swirl from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

I started with two of the more decadent chocolates in the gift box, so now I turn to the simple, unadulterated bliss of chocolate. Less is more. This is The Chocolate Smith’s signature blend of 72% dark chocolate, and it’s a powerful reminder that chocolate needn’t be gussied up to dazzle. On the contrary, good chocolate is often best in the buff.

Peanut butter bar from The ChocolateSmith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Peanut butter bar from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Pretty, right? And pretty tasty too! This rectangular brick of bliss is the Peanut Butter Bar. A good sized hunk of creamy organic peanut butter takes a swim in a vat of dark chocolate, and this striped charmer is the result. Imagine the patron saint of peanut butter cups, and you’re getting close to the mark.

Petite dark chocolate from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Petite dark chocolate from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Akin to the peanut butter bar, but the heart and soul of this chocolate is vanilla blushed ganache. I suspect that I may have wandered into the forbidden realm of dairy given the heavenly creaminess of this confection. So good. Dipped in dark chocolate in case a lump of ganache isn’t decadent enough.

Ginger dipped chocolate from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

Ginger dipped chocolate from The Chocolate Smith in Santa Fe (Source: Geo Davis)

This mysterious looking wonder is dipped ginger. Chunks of dried/candied ginger soaked in sake are smothered in dark chocolate. It’s an appetizer, palate cleanser, meal, dessert, and digestif all in one! And it’s large enough to share if you’re generous (and super disciplined.)

About The Chocolate Smith

Santa Fe chocolate lovers are extremely fortunate to have several gourmet cacao-to-confection specialists who ply their enchanted arts in The City Different. The Chocolate Smith is one of several that is part of the New Mexico Chocolate Trail!

Looking for the best hand-crafted dark chocolate in the world? (Source:


Gourmet dark chocolate by The Chocolate Smith is made by hand using a bittersweet blend of dark chocolate and premium, fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Indulge in timeless chocolate classics or explore contemporary twists and regional flairs. Whichever your preference, be ready for an over-the-top chocolate experience. (Source:


The storefront at Chocolate Smith might remind you of your grandmother’s house, with its quaint retro-style displays and pastel-oriented décor. It’s a well-lit, wide-open space, so you can watch as candy makers stir, temper, dip, and cut just beyond the display counter; this also means that chocolate’s heady aroma hits you right as you walk in the door. Chocolate Smith offers a nearly overwhelming range… (Source: “Restaurant Review: Chocolate tiers” via

The Chocolate Smith was featured on The Food Network’s Road Tasted series.

Visit The Chocolate Smith

If you’re hankering for some world class chocolate, then we recommend you swing by The Chocolate Smith for an experience your taste buds won’t soon forget. And if you’re not close enough to drop in, you can order online!

Chef John Rivera Sedlar’s Eloisa Restaurant 

Eloisa Restaurant's Chef John Rivera Sedlar (Source:

Eloisa Restaurant’s Chef John Rivera Sedlar (Source:

Much anticipated and much celebrated Chef John Rivera Sedlar opened his first Santa Fe restaurant last year after an extraordinarily successful restaurant career in Los Angeles. And I’ve been returning eagerly ever since the first days open. My most recent visit to enjoy Sedlar’s creative twist on modern southwest cuisine was no exception, except I finally managed to eat slowly enough to take photographs before inhaling his design-forward creations.

Belated Birthday at Eloisa Restaurant

A missed birthday provided the perfect excuse to try Eloisa’s new menu. No birthday cake but all manner of debaucherous dining ensued. Here’s a glimpse.

Eloisa's Cochiti Pueblo Gazpacho (Source: Geo Davis)

Eloisa’s Cochiti Pueblo Gazpacho (Source: Geo Davis)

I started with Cochiti Pueblo Gazpacho, a “chilled summer soup of cantaloupe and honeydew” melons. This creative twist on gazpacho soup was pureed into a viscous liquid as refreshing as it was beautiful. I imagine this dish would be equally wonderful for breakfast and dessert.

Eloisa's Pastrami Tacos (Source: Geo Davis)

Eloisa’s Pastrami Tacos (Source: Geo Davis)

Although my dining partner—aka “the birthday boy”—exercised greater restraint, choosing two small plates for his meal, I succumbed to temptation and doubled up my appetizers. Although much of Eloisa original menu has changed in the most recent incarnation, one of my favorites is still being offered. The miniature Pastrami Tacos are stuffed with “spicy smoked beef, sauerkraut, pickled chilies” and that unnaturally yellow mustard referred to by the chef as “ballpark mustard”. Oddly enough, it works. In fact, it really works! I’ve ordered these every time I’ve eaten at Eloisa, and I don’t intend to alter my guilty habit until they are removed from the menu. (Note: the order is served with four tiny tacos, but I wasn’t able to resist gobbling one before snapping the photo.)

Eloisa's Beef Tenderloin Tierra y Mar (Source: Geo Davis)

Eloisa’s Beef Tenderloin Tierra y Mar (Source: Geo Davis)

For my main course I ordered the Beef Tenderloin Tierra y Mar, but the chef adapted the dish to accommodate my dairy-free diet. Normally served, “wood-grilled with shrimp, potato-corn gratin, asparagus, chipotle béarnaise”, a smoky reduction was invented to replace of the béarnaise, and additional asparagus (after all, they are in season!) stood in for the gratin. The steak was marginally overcooked, but the medley of flavors worked so nicely so that I enjoyed every bite without complaint.

Eloisa's Wood-Grilled Asparagus Salad (Source: Geo Davis)

Eloisa’s Wood-Grilled Asparagus Salad (Source: Geo Davis)

The birthday boy started with a Wood-Grilled Asparagus Salad consisting of “lemon olive oil, lime cream, garrotxa cheese snow”. He was well satisfied with his generously proportioned order.

Eloisa's Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell (Source: Geo Davis)

Eloisa’s Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell (Source: Geo Davis)

For his main course he ordered Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell which arrived with a steamy aroma so tempting I almost asked for one of his half dozen delicacies. But it was his birthday, so I swallowed my greed. These “blue cornmeal-crusted fresh oysters with tropical salsa” were enormous! He romanced each oyster, only pausing when he reached the last one. After eating half he pled too content to continue and insisted that I try the final bite. Without hesitation, I accepted his offer and the still-warm creaminess melted in my mouth. Divine!

I’ve skipped the liquid refreshments, but suffice to say that several wines were sampled from the well curated wine list. And a unique cocktail to boot! Perhaps a future post will be dedicated to Eloisa’s libations… Stay tuned.

About Eloisa Restaurant in Santa Fe

Chef Rivera named his new restaurant after his grandmother and is cooking “elemental” New Mexican dishes that celebrate the traditions of southwestern women. It seems he’s off to a great start as Eloisa was nominated for best new restaurant in the 2016 James Beard Awards.

The vaguely cosmopolitan L.A. vibe seems fitting at Eloisa, which chef John Rivera Sedlar opened in the new Drury Plaza Hotel to herald his return from the City of Angels to the City Different. He named his restaurant for his grandmother, a fact you’ll learn from your menu. Sedlar pays homage to his Northern New Mexico roots by including traditional dishes — rellenos, calabacitas, carne adovada, and Frito pie — often given a creative personal spin. So many of them are remarkable in texture, flavor, and seasoning. (Source:


Eloisa pays homage to the female figures Sedlar grew up with — it is named after his grandmother and borrows inspiration from the kitchens of Sedlar’s various relatives. As a child, he was especially inspired by Eloisa – she was the artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal chef for 15 years – and her philosophy: namely, mastering how to make much of little. “Southwestern ingredients are limited,” Sedlar says, “but there’s a variety and dimension to them.” (Source: The New York Times)


Few grandmothers have had the luxury of such a regally appointed kitchen as the immaculately gleaming kitchen which graces Eloisa. It’s twice the size of the kitchen at Rivera, Chef Sedlar’s last restaurant in Los Angeles. You’ll want to be seated in close proximity so you can lustily ogle the transformation of down-to-earth New Mexican ingredients into exotic creations which both honor and elevate the Land of Enchantment’s culinary traditions. Watching the kitchen staff assiduously go about their prep work with the efficiency and synchronicity of drone bees is almost mesmerizing. Eloisa’s commodious dining room seats 120 guests inside and weather-permitting, another 65 guests on the patio. (Source:

Visit Eloisa Restaurant in Santa Fe

You should visit Eloisa and try the mouth-watering dishes I’ve described for yourself! The restaurant is open for lunch on Monday – Friday, 11:30 – 2:30. Open for dinner on Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 – 9:00 and Friday & Saturday, 5:30 – 10:00.

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail (Source:

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail (Source:

“In New Mexico, where a small group of artisanal chocolatiers creatively and passionately ply their trade,… [they all share a] devotion to their craft and the daily satisfaction of putting a smile on their customers’ faces.” (Source: New Mexico True)

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail Map

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail Map (Source: Albuquerque Journal)

Are you interested in a road that is “Paved with Chocolate“?

Well, there is no literal chocolate pavement, but if you travel the New Mexico True Chocolate Trail you’ll be making stops at shops, cafes, restaurants, etc. that specialize in chocolate confections. The trail includes chocolatiers from around the state, particularly those who’ve added a New Mexico twist to their treats.

The Chocolate Trail has been around informally for a few years but was revitalized and formalized in 2016 with 13 locations on the trail. Although the New Mexico tourism department is planning to expand and add more locations to the trail in the future!

Visit an up-to-date listing of all the stops on the Chocolate Trail at the Or if you’re just interested in only those located in Santa Fe visit

Stops on the Chocolate Trail

In Santa Fe:

The last two on the list are included on the Santa Fe tourism’s website listing for the Chocolate Trail, but are not yet included on the official trail on the map included above or on the New Mexico tourism website.

There are also two unexpected stops on the trail and here are the reasons:

“Terra offers red-chile-infused chocolate desserts and drinks while Santa Fe Brewing turns out an Adobe Igloo beer with dusty raw cacao nibs and red chile flakes for a unique twist on a traditional winter brew.” (Source: Albuquerque Journal)

In Albuquerque:

In Old Mesilla:

Two festivals are also part of the “trail.” Chocolate Fantasia takes place in February in historic downtown Silver City and the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest is held in March in Albuquerque.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source:

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen’s refreshing foodie oasis is tucked into the Pacheco Park Design District in a handsome design forward building that feels like a best friend’s Tesuque (or Glorieta?) home/studio. Full of light and earth warmth and some of the happiest diners in Santa Fe.

We’re lunch regulars and recently we’ve been meeting friends for Chef Nath’s Thai dinners (Wednesday through Saturday, 5:00-9:00 PM) which are exotic and organic and totally gluten-free. We’re always eager for a Sweetwater meal, and to entice you, I’ve documented my most recent lunch. Enjoy.

Memorable Lunch at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Midstream a busy-as-a-bee week my bride and I dropped into Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen for lunch and a mini vacation.

Mini vacation?

Right. A rejuvenating escape into the Santa Fe interstices.

Strawberry Mint Shrub at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: virtualDavis)

Strawberry Mint Shrub at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Source: virtualDavis)

The first sip of my strawberry mint shrub sent a tingle across my tongue and up my spine. Aaahhh… Refreshment. The subtle flavors of fresh strawberry and just-crushed mint snapped to crispy attention with a hint of vinegar. My pint-sized elixir was drifted with just enough ice to keep it chilled in the sunshine.

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: virtualDavis)

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Source: virtualDavis)

My soothing drift into gustatory Elysium continued with a cup of butternut squash and coconut milk soup. Yes, dairy free. Yes, slightly sweet with just hint of Caribbean isles. Yes, sooo delicious!

Chicken Enchilada with Green Chile at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: virtualDavis)

Chicken Enchilada with Green Chile at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Source: virtualDavis)

And then the main course. (There’s nothing more decadent than interrupting a busy day with a multi-course meal, right?) Recreating a favorite and oft-repeated, but still super tasty dish, I tweaked the on-menu chicken enchilada slightly to accommodate my dietary needs. Normally it is accompanied with Monterey Jack cheese. Yum. But not for me, dairy be damned. Okay, I admit a twinge of regret every time I alter a dish to accommodate my dairy-free, gluten-free needs. But it’s so refreshing when a restaurant smiles and says, “No problem. We can do that.”

I chose green chili, though I’ve sometimes opted for “Christmas”. In all honesty, the black beans and rice were too, too much for a midday meal. But the rice was nicely flavored and so moist. I ate everything.

Raw Chocolate with Date and Hemp at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: virtualDavis)

Raw Chocolate with Date and Hemp at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Source: virtualDavis)

Lunch dessert? Over the top!

But I’m so rarely able to indulge in decadent desserts, so I succumbed to temptation. Not one chocolate, but two. Two raw chocolates stuffed with dates and hemp hearts. 100% dairy-free, 100% gluten-free, and 100% divine!

Apple Tart at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source: virtualDavis)

Apple Tart at Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Source: virtualDavis)

My bride, a slightly more tempered vegetarian nevertheless concluded her tasty lunch with an indulgence, a strawberry topped wedge of apple tart. While the crust ensured that I wouldn’t be able to steal a bite, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to document this beauty for you.

About Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

Let Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen tell you about their carefully chosen menu offerings:

Our menus are deliciously varied because we’re inspired by fresh, natural foods and international cuisines.

We mill our organic flours on-site daily, prepare meals by hand, and source responsibly produced seasonal ingredients. Our beer + wine list includes local and regional options and features New Mexico’s only sustainable wines on tap. Our many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes ensure that all members of our diverse community feel welcome and nourished.

Sweetwater offers counter service for breakfast + lunch; full-service dinners; espresso, teas, and organic fresh smoothies; daily gluten-free baked goods; and a selection of craft brews, sakes, cellared wines, and SIP-certified (Sustainability In Practice) wines on tap.

Catering services are available for private gatherings. Gluten-free cakes and pies can be special ordered. (Source:

Take a look at other reviews and accolades about Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen.

Have you been tempted? Then stop by for a meal!

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Credit:

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen (Credit:

Visit Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen

The restaurant is open for Breakfast & Lunch on Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–2:30 pm and on Saturday, 9:00 am–2:30 pm. Open for Brunch on Sunday, 9:00 am–2:30 pm. Open for “Thai Night” dinner on Wednesday–Saturday, 5:00 pm–9:00 pm. Make a reservation for Sunday Brunch and Thai Nights!

  • Telephone: 505.795.7383
  • Adress: 1512 Pacheco Street, Building B, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
  • Email:
  • Website:

Arroyo Vino Restaurant & Wine Shop

Arroyo Vino in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source:

Arroyo Vino in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Source:

My parents celebrated their 47th anniversary during a recent visit to Santa Fe, so my bride and I treated them to a memorable dinner at Arroyo Vino to ensure happy memories (and to subversively reinforce their burgeoning interest in relocating part-time to Santa Fe.)

A ten minute drive from Santa Fe to the new Arroyo Vino is a treat. The space functions as a sleek, well-stocked wine shop and a delicious gourmet dining spot from chef Mark Connell. Expect a rotating menu of seasonal items… Wine lovers will take delight in the menu or shopping the store for their table’s bottle. (Source:

Driving from downtown Santa Fe to Arroyo Vino during a sunset is so enchanting you risk missing your reservation. It’s not uncommon to see cars pulling over onto the shoulder to gaze and photograph the panorama.

Memorable Meal at Arroyo Vino

We soaked up the tie-dye sky but nevertheless managed to arrive at Arroyo Vino in time.

Our first welcome surprise was being greeted by the familiar face of the branch manager at our local bank. Santa Fe is famous for these wonderful crossovers! The subsequent parade of gastronomical surprises is best chronicled with photographs.

Arroyo Vino: Steamed Artichoke smoked oyster vinaigrette, comté cheese & potato fondue, preserved lemon, parsley

Arroyo Vino Steamed Artichoke (Source: virtualDavis)

Susan started out with a steamed artichoke served with “smoked oyster vinaigrette, comté cheese and potato fondue, preserved lemon, parsley”. Needless to say, she spoke less than usual and happily navigated the tender blossom.

I started with a decidedly gamier dish.

Arroyo Vino: Duck Confit Larb bibb lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, pea sprouts, Thai chilies

Arroyo Vino Duck Confit Larb (Source: virtualDavis)

I’m a sucker for wild protein, so the duck confit larb was an obvious choice. Served with “bibb lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, pea sprouts, Thai chilies”, I savored the interplay of rich duck and peppers, balanced against more delicate greens. The nest of pseudo-safron was actually shaved hot pepper.

My father’s colorful appetizer is also worth documenting.

Arroyo Vino: Charcoal Roasted Beet Tartare granny smith apples, horseradish, pickled mustard seed, pine nuts, goat chèvre

Arroyo Vino Charcoal Roasted Beet Tartare (Source: virtualDavis)

Art too handsome to eat? Hardly! This beauty is “charcoal roasted beet tartare”. Served with “granny smith apples, horseradish, pickled mustard seed, pine nuts, and goat chèvre”, this remarkably healthy opener charmed my father before I could beg a bite.

My main course was an especial treat since the crumbled black pepper wafer was gluten free. All too often I’m obliged to pass up similar decadences…

Arroyo Vino: Duroc Pork Tenderloin rhubarb, whole grain mustard, swiss chard, spring onions, black pepper tuille

Arroyo Vino Duroc Pork Tenderloin (Source: virtualDavis)

Glistening beneath a crimson drizzle of rhubarb puree, delicate morsels of Duroc pork tenderloin was seasoned with whole grain mustard and tossed with spring onions and swiss chard. The black pepper tuille balanced the succulent dish’s texture profile with a crisp crunch. Divine!

Susan’s appetite likewise tipped toward the decadent, but the quaint presentation was totally unanticipated.

Arroyo Vino: "Fish & Chips" brandade croquettes, black garlic, dill, horseradish, pickled celery, leek

Arroyo Vino “Fish & Chips” (Source: virtualDavis)

That photo-worthy dish is Arroyo Vino’s twist on “Fish & Chips”. Surprised? So was Susan. Happily surprised, I should add. The chef describes the tasty starter as “brandade croquettes, black garlic, dill, horseradish, pickled celery, and leek”. Not your usual pile of fried fish and French fries drizzled with malt vinegar. She was thrilled and eagerly consumed all three dainty delights without offering even a tiny taste to the rest of us.

I’ll wrap up with my mother’s summery main course, Petrale sole meunière.

Arroyo Vino: Petrale Sole Meunière spring garlic, english peas, lardons, hand rolled cicione pasta, local oyster mushrooms, beurre blanc

Arroyo Vino Petrale Sole Meunière (Source: virtualDavis)

Prepared with “spring garlic, English peas, lardons, hand rolled cicione pasta, and local oyster mushrooms” this dish aspires to glossy cover stardom on a swish foodie ‘zine. Swimming in beurre blanc and as terrific for the eyes as the taste buds, my mother offered resounding praise for this high desert twist on sole meunière.

In Vino Veritas

We opted for individually matched wine tastings paired to each of our courses. A thorough review is due our oenological accompaniments, but too enrapturing was the experience (and too long this post) for me to offer just complement. So I’ll defer this delightful task for my next visit.

For now I conclude with the final fireworks of our evening, exploding liquid truffles. No photo. Just a tingling memory and encouragement for you to include the treat in your next Arroyo Vino experience.

Visit Arroyo Vino

  • Arroyo Vino
  • 218 Camino La Tierra
  • Santa Fe, NM 87506
  • 505.983.2100

Taste New Flavors of Santa Fe Dining

Have you read “Turning Over a New Leaf on Santa Fe Dining” on the Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey blog, which is marketed as the Official Travel Blog of Santa Fe? Check it out if you haven’t and you may discover new some flavors to add to your palate while dining in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The article is a few years old, but the advice is still sound!

The raw enchilada plate at BODY Café. (Credit: Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey)

The raw enchilada plate at BODY Café. (Credit: Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey)

Frequent visitors and residents alike have their favorite restaurants and their favorites dishes. However, the author of this tantalizing article urges you to visit new places or just to order something new off the menu and expand your perception of what Santa Fe cuisine is.

The author takes us on a journey to his or her familiar eateries and invites us to sample new menu items with them as well as make a couple stops at previously unvisited restaurants. From ordering raw enchiladas at the BODY Café to green chile clam chowder La Choza and more, a new Santa Fe dining experience is shared with us.

The article ends with this advice:

“So maybe like me, you didn’t know that enchiladas taste wonderful raw, that green chile can hide its essence inside a tempura crust, or that the cool north and the spicy south get along so swimmingly in a bowl. These are just a few tactics by which Santa Fe creates a river of adventurous flavor running through our renowned restaurant scene.” (“Turning Over a New Leaf on Santa Fe Dining“)

Read it in full and enrich your own Santa Fe dining experiences.

Shohko Café: Santa Fe’s First Sushi Bar

Shohko Cafe Seared Scallops: Sushi in a 200 year-old adobe house (Source: TOURISM Santa Fe)

Shohko Café Seared Scallops (Source: TOURISM Santa Fe)

Last night my bride and I followed massages at Body Spa with a pitstop at Shohko Café to prolong the sybaritic pampering. In addition to being the original, longest running, and most reliable sushi restaurant in Santa Fe, Shohko Café offers another rather unique bonus. The whole establishment is fragrance-free. This policy was originally a response to the owner’s scent sensitivity, but it has grown into a welcome retreat for many Santa Feans like my bride who choose/need to avoid fragrances.

A demi-carafe of Kikumasamune Taru Sake Cedar Cask… Now my post-massage mellow shifted into overdrive!

My meal was—and always is—delicious. I started with some warm ginger tea followed by a demi-carafe of Kikumasamune Taru Sake Cedar Cask. Now my post-massage mellow shifted into overdrive!

My bride started with miso soup and a tempura oyster mushroom roll, and I enjoyed “Prawns Blanketed in Snow”, three sizable tiger prawns wrapped in rice flour and lightly fried. It’s gluten free! I swapped the chili miso sauce (which apparently has a trace of gluten), instead dipping my crisp prawns in gluten free tamari.

I followed my appetizer with a couple pieces of bluefin high toro nigiri sushi and then dove into the “Chef’s Choice”, an impressive roll that included too many exotic ingredients to make a proper accounting. It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

And one final recommendation…

Santa Fe Roll (Source: Clare M. via Yelp)

Santa Fe Roll (Source: Clare M. via Yelp)

A past favorite (before my gluten free shift) was the “Santa Fe Roll” comprised of green chile tempura, shrimp tempura, and avocado. Makes me miss the old days.

Welcome to Shohko Café

Shohko Cafe logo

Welcome to Shohko Café, Santa Fe’s original Japanese restaurant. Since our founding in 1975, we have strived to serve delicious and wholesome food. Our menu was developed with your utmost health in mind and abounds in organic and all-natural ingredients. We remain committed to serving you good food for good health. (Shohko and Hiro Fukuda, 2010)

The Fukuda family opened New Mexico’s first sushi bar, and they are dedicated to serving authentic Japanese cuisine as well as providing innovating new flavors inspired by the region. Take a look at their lunch menu, dinner menu, sake menu, and sushi menu to see the variety of meal combinations you can create.

Housed in a former 19th century bordello with 3-feet thick adobe walls and original vigas, the restaurant’s décor fuses simple Japanese and Northern New Mexican design elements. (Shohko Café)

Get a glimpse into the history of the Shohko Café by visiting their photo gallery. To learn more visit their website Or call (505) 982-9708. You can also visit the Shohko Café Facebook page.

Visit Shohko Café

Shohko Café is located at 321 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Find it on the map below:

Eske’s Brew Pub in Taos, New Mexico

Eske's Brew Pub

Eske’s Brew Pub (Photo credit:

I followed up a sun soaked day on the Taos Ski Valley delicious lunch at Eske’s, one of my favorite Taos dining/drinking destinations. (I’ve been returning here ever since the mid 1990’s when I first lived out in this southwestern wonderland.) Delicious green chile stew, and the highlight? A gluten removed Eske special bitter called The Chemist. I love a good just-brewed bucket of suds, but the last few gluten free years have too often left me standing on the sidelines when I visit a craft brewery. Thanks, Team Eske’s for getting me back in the game. It was delicious!

Eske’s is located in the historic district of Taos, one-half block southeast of Taos Plaza. Our nearly 100 year old, flat-roofed adobe home offers a cozy atmosphere and beautiful outdoor seating. Live entertainment, quality food, handcrafted beer and local color make Eske’s a place to go alone, with friends, or with the entire family. (

Eske’s Brew Pub Information

Eske's Brew Pub

Eske’s Brew Pub (Photo credit:

If you’re a fan of craft beers (and healthy but delicious home cooking), I encourage you to stop in at Eske’s Brew Pub the next time you’re in Taos. They even offer free parking which is a handy bonus when Taos is busy and scarce parking is pricy.

  • Eske’s Brew Pub and Eatery
  • 106 Des Georges Lane
  • Taos, New Mexico 87571
  • (575) 758-1517